Is your MBP your primary gaming device?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by nStyle, Jun 26, 2015.

  1. nStyle, Jun 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015

    nStyle macrumors 65816

    Dec 6, 2009
    I own a late 2013 rMBP 13" and have found that most games I try seem to run pretty well - even with Iris 5100 graphics. Of course I'm using external mouse/keyboard/monitor.

    The thing is, I could definitely afford to have a gaming PC to go side by side but I prefer to have one device for everything, so I'm willing to make the compromises. I could also afford to just buy a 15" rMBP with dedicated GPU but then it would be less portable and I'd rather wait until a better GPU comes along before making the switch just yet.

    I've definitely had several gaming PCs in the past. My last included an nVidia 660GT. So I'm a game for a month kind of dude and I may not touch a single game besides some stupid iPhone app for a few more months before I get the itch again. I parted some of that rig out last month. I was going to re-buy maybe a GTX970 (and I'd need another monitor) but I just don't think I can justify it when my MBP handles things fairly well.

    Most of my time is spent around OSX, and I'm not a huge gamer, so I can't justify owning a gaming PC just to have (IMO) a marginally better experience gaming. I find that if it runs, and it's playable, the settings don't really matter that much. It's a bang for the buck thing. Of course, I really do enjoy gaming, but I'm not super competitive and whether its an old or new game doesn't really matter as long as it's a good game.

    Does anyone feel like this or are you just unwilling to make compromises when it comes to game performance?
  2. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    No. It isn't. I have my consoles for that, they provide a much better experience.
  3. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    Unfortunately there isn't much that can be suggested if you're concerned with gaming. You are willing to compromise resolution and settings in favor of performance but you're going to be limited to a minority of titles on those Intel iGPUs, and of course can forget about anything AAA.

    The dGPU in the 15'' model is better, but it's still only mid-range. It will also struggle with modern releases and you will still find yourself sacrificing quite a bit in favor of performance.

    Therefore, if you're against going with the 15'' or a separate PC for gaming - I'm not sure what to say. I suppose to answer your question - yes I am willing to sacrifice resolution and other settings for framerates. This can still be considered irrelevant though if the hardware is just nowhere near being adequate.
  4. johnnnw macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2013



    Between the lack of games coded for a Mac and the underwhelming GPU options it is almost pointless to use a Mac as a gaming machine.
  5. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    Incredibly biased reply incoming.

    I have a Mac notebook with a GeForce 320M, and while today that integrated chip can't do much as far as games, it was surprisingly decent for its time before everything went Intel. I was an active gamer in my earlier days and at the time that my custom desktop experienced multiple hardware failures and I couldn't justify the costs to replace it, I ended up just using that same notebook with the 320M. I had to sacrifice more than just a bit of eye candy but it was able to run the titles I was interested in at the time surprisingly well - capped each one at 60 FPS. I gamed daily for a solid year and a half on it and it still runs well to this day 4 and a half years later.

    I agree with you however that if the intent is to purchase a Mac for gaming, that isn't sensible.
  6. nStyle, Jun 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015

    nStyle thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dec 6, 2009
    "Pointless" it is not, considering Mac actually has tons of games. And it's not like Bootcamp isn't an option...we get that you wouldn't rely on a Mac for gaming, cool.

    I never purchased my Mac for gaming, I just happened to find out that it played most of the games I want to play decently enough to where it doesn't make sense for me personally to own a separate machine. I'm sure they're others out there with similar thoughts and don't want to own multiple machines.

    Not everyone cares about AAA titles. But, even those are arguably playable.

    I do agree that Mac has ****** game support though. I downloaded CS:GO and the Mac client is extremely bugged.
  7. iSheep5S macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2013
    Nope. Windows laptop.

    Console yes but i like PC games namley MMORPG's.
  8. Quu macrumors 68030


    Apr 2, 2007
    Nope. I have a PC with dual GPU's for that.

    I like my notebooks to be ultra portable and you just can't get good graphics in that kind of form factor.
  9. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    I have a 3DS, a PS2, a Wii, and an iPhone. I never game on my Mac.

    But I'm no hardcore gamer. I play Legend of Zelda on my Nintendo stuff, some Super Smash Bros., rarely some Final Fantasy, and once in a while some Pokemon for nostalgia (I use my Gameboy SP and Pokemon Yellow version).
  10. ZXMustang macrumors member

    May 16, 2015
    I just contemplated this same thing. I decided to get the early 15 rMBP and a PS4 for gaming. The mac will do light gaming like Civ V and so on. And the shooters, sports and driving games go on the PS4. I build a windows gaming rig with the latest i7-4790K processor and the EVGA GTX980, and it was not as impressive as I thought it would be. Disassembled the rig and returned it all. Im better off with a console rather than making a PC do what consoles do anyway.
  11. nStyle thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dec 6, 2009
    Curious: disappointed in what way? You were expecting more for your money or what?

    I've just found the difference in playable/more than acceptable and "best" is generally not worth the price premium. AKA: buying a mid range vs high end card.

    I just don't like the idea of having a whole hunking PC that's used solely for games, so I can definitely see your reasoning in getting a PS4. I mean, if 90% of your computer time doesn't come from your MacBook, then why would you own something that just collects dust?
  12. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I have a PS3 for any type of gaming needs I may have. Tbh, though I hardly use that as well. Not enough time in my schedule to play games at this point
  13. Mr.C macrumors 601

    Apr 3, 2011
    London, UK.
    Same here. I gave up on computer gaming with the odd exception a long time ago. I play Diablo III on my MacBook Pro and Mini and one or two other older games but that is about it. I can't be bothered with a gaming PC and all the hassles that go with using Windows plus the constant upgrading. I have my game consoles for my gaming needs. They provide a much better overall experience.
  14. creamz macrumors member


    Feb 2, 2015
    With the price point you are paying of course it isn't. Unless you game a lot, you don't really need that high end card. It comes to a limit where the amount spent is simply not worth it for it's additional eye candy. Nonetheless, a game like Witcher 3 on a GTX970 already look tons better than the PS4.
  15. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    Haha interesting post! It feels like I wrote it. I like having one device for everything nowadays so I recently stripped down my last gaming PC, sold my 7870HD on eBay and turned it into the media center for the TV. I buy a ton of games, play them for a week or two and then never again. My steam library is huge with wasted money. If you're anything like me you'll enjoy just sticking with the rMBP. If next year or the year after you're really craving more graphic performance, just sell the Mac and upgrade it - which you would probably do anyway.
  16. soupcan macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2014
    It is, actually. Granted I only play Team Fortress 2, but still.
  17. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Yes, the 15" with m370x is my primary gaming device and I am very happy with its performance. I can play any game I want at a settings level that I want. Yes, a gaming PC would have much better performance, but hardly any better experience. And I wound't know where to put it in my apartment.
  18. RotaryP7 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 31, 2011
    Miami, FL
    I have a Windows gaming desktop for that. However, I'm probably going to go all Apple and just sell my desktop and get an iMac instead w/ my rMBP; since I'm mostly gaming on my PS4.
  19. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    This is what I did quite a few months ago. My gaming desires declined as a whole to where I am now extremely casual on a PS3. I tore down my gaming desktop and plan on selling what I salvaged.

    I also gave a netbook that I had away, and now I only have two Macs in terms of all of the computers that I own - a desktop and a notebook.
  20. 2IS macrumors 68030

    Jan 9, 2011
    As a user of Mac's, Consoles and Windows PC's I can say without bias that the Mac is by far the worst platform if your intention is gaming. I find PC gaming the most enjoyable but PS4 isn't too far behind.
  21. tomnavratil macrumors 6502a


    Oct 2, 2013
    Czech Republic
    I don't game too much these days and use my rMPB Mid-2014 (in the signature) as my main machine and currently own no consoles so yeah it's my gaming machine as well. With more titles getting produced for Macs and better coding / ports, I guess an overall experience is improving.
  22. cambookpro macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    I use my PS4 and Vita primarily and probably my iPad/iPhone second. I hardly ever play games on my Mac - the only three I own are Football Manager, Portal and Portal 2.

    I'll probably be called a heathen by our PC-gaming brethren, but I can't use a keyboard to play a game to save my life. Give me a controller any day.
  23. Simplifier macrumors member


    Jun 16, 2015
    I used to have video consoles, from the Sega Master System to the PS4. But I gave back the PS4 and am now using my MacBook Pro Early 2011. And you know what? It's just GREAT! I really love it and prefer playing on my laptop than on my previous consoles. As examples, I played Borderlands 2 and Borderlands The Pre-Sequel on it and it works just perfectly.
    My only concern, as stated in another topic, is that my MacBook gets super-extremely-hot when I play. But I tried it on the new MacBook Air and it's much better. Over time, I'm sure that this will no longer be an issue anymore.
    And sure, I miss not being able to play The Last of Us or GTA V. But maybe that's a good thing, because video games are so long to finish that it's actually good not to be able to play all of them.
  24. kamuix macrumors regular


    Feb 9, 2011
    I was sorta in the same boat, trying to figure out what my gaming needs were. As of late, like most others, I have seen a decline in my gaming. I own the new consoles, but I hardly play them. That, plus the lack of time to heavily invest in a game like before. I have bought some games such as Farcry and Witcher 3. To be honest, I've only literally put an hour or so to both games. The games aren't bad, but I seem to lack the motivation to continue.
    On my mac, I just play heroes of the storm. That and a couple of blizzard games since they are made native to mac. Of course there are some windows games I'd like to try, but not the end of the world if I can't. I have a 2012 cMPB that seems to be alright in running games. The only incentive I find to play pc games are the ability to mod them and have fun. Such games as GTA 5, skyrim, fallout, and so on.
    There was a point where I was tempted to create an external video card mod. Basically an enclosure, pci express pcb, a gtx 970, external power supply, which plugs via thunderbolt. Of course the bandwidth via thunderbolt is limited so a 10 - 20% loss of actual video card power is seen, from what I remember reading. Even with that loss, it's still capable of playing games at high and ultra settings. Or cheaper cards like the 7 series could be utilized. The total cost was about 500 dollars give or take depending on the video card you used. It seemed to work great, especially for people in bootcamp. Although there needed to be some work around to get it to function properly.
    If anyone is interested.
  25. Skika macrumors 68030

    Mar 11, 2009
    Nope, not even a single game on mine. All my gaming is done on either PS3,PS4 or Vita.

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